Carmarthenshire schools have been protected once again from council budget cuts, the executive board has confirmed.
It means schools’ delegated budget for next year will be held at £108.7m for 2018-19.
In addition, the council has set aside a £500,000 ‘invest to save fund’ to support schools in making efficiency improvements – a move which has been ‘welcomed with open arms’ by education executive board member, Cllr Glynog Davies.
The draft budget was passed by executive board today, with the final decision on savings being made by Full Council on February 21.
Cllr David Jenkins, executive board member for resources, said: “The three year budget strategy proposals adopted in February 2017 assumed no schools protection for 2018-19, however executive board colleagues have been very conscious of the need to support schools where ever possible whilst balancing the impact on the other departments.
“Therefore, as a consequence of the additional support Welsh Government have provided as part of the settlement, I am pleased to report that we have once again been able to protect schools and not reduce their budgets.”
He added: “To support schools further it is proposed to set up a schools development fund. This will give schools direct access to an ‘invest to save fund’ which will allow schools to have up front funding for cost efficiency projects.”
Executive board member for education and children’s services, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “Education is so important. It’s the best foundation we can give the children of this county.
“On one hand I’m grateful that the department has had this budget, but schools have extra costs as well, so I welcome with open arms this fund that’s been made available.
“Schools need to tackle and make new plans to save money, to see how they can do things differently. It’s extra money really to the education department, and I thank the executive board for listening.”